A great way to start the day: Kung Fu class. I was really excited for my class today because I will be training with a weapon today, which is a staff. After the usual warm up, Master Yandi gave me a staff. It is made out of wood and the two ends are wrapped in bandages. One side of the staff is thinner than the other. Master Yandi then told me about the history of the staff, about why it is “The King of all Weapons”. He said that most weapons’ basic forms are made from the staff. For instance, a spear is basically a knife attached to a staff. Master Yandi also said that if I can master the staff, then mastering other weapons will be much easier. Since it was my first day of using a staff, Master Yandi only taught me two basic techniques, which roughly translate as “Toss” and “Smash”. The toss is basically flicking the thin tip of the staff upwards, and the smash is a downwards slam using the heavier and thicker end of the staff. The two moves are quite easy. I grew adept to them pretty quickly. In the next class, I will probably be able to learn more techniques, which is already making me excited again.
After much speculation and excitement, I finally got to try out something called the Beyond Meat® Burger. It is a plant-based burger that took a jaw-dropping seven years to develop and perfect. It is meant to be a vegan replica of a typical beef patty. While the price is slightly higher than your run-of-the-mill beef burger, my first impressions were, “Wow! Is this actually meat?” Unlike other vegan patties, the Beyond Meat® Burger had a processed beef with its little strips of beef combined together to form a disk. Off to the grill it went! Apparently during the seven years of development, they also made sure that the burger also cooked like an actual one, identified by the red juices that leaked out and the color changing characteristic of the surface. The four minutes per side passed by quickly without me getting too hungry, now, the Beyond Meat® burger is on a plate, ready to be consumed by a hungry carnivore. As the pea protein isolate along with a plethora of ingredients activated my taste buds, all I was able to think of was, “I am DEFINITELY munching on a plain hamburger right now.” It was an amazing experience and miles better than other veggie burgers that either use potatoes or textured vegetable protein (think tofu) to barely get by.
It has already been the third year of my high school career. I never thought that time could run this fast, and yesterday seemed like to be my first day in Canada. During the three years, I did manage to improve myself, bit by bit; however, I consider myself wasting most of the priceless time ---- after all, I could have done more.
It was only recently that I realized that I didn’t live as industriously as I was supposed to. It all comes after a few books I’ve read recently, which primarily consisted of biographies of several famous people. Elon Musk was one of them, for instance. After finishing his biography, I surprisingly found myself ---- although having an utterly different characteristic with him ---- being attracted by some of his behaviours. Characteristics come with people when they are infants; therefore, they are a part of ourselves that could not easily be altered, and should not be altered. Nevertheless, ideas, logic, rationality, means and behaviours can be learnt, for good purposes. Among all of those things that humans can acquire, what I realized is that if I want to achieve a goal, then I should do it. The word “do” only has two letters, yet it seems so powerful.
When I review my life of my high school career in Vancouver, I found that I achieved all the things that I actually spent time on. For example, my app, my website, the pitch presentations. All of them went well only because I got my hands dirty on those things. Having to admit that sometimes lack of talent, dearth of skills and knowledge inadequacy could be potential barriers ---- I once read a book about algorithms and I found myself completely not comprehending the content. I still believe that 99% of the goals will be achieved by just doing it.
Going back to present, I still have more than two months left until I graduate. A decision on attending U of A relieved a portion of pressure given by the Provincial Examination, and that turned out to provide me more time to work on things that I really want to work on. Learning more programming concepts, finishing more projects, reading more books and keeping healthier habits are the few little things I would love to focus on the last bit of my high school. I don’t have to send people to Mars, but I will keep working on the be the best version of myself.
I finally get a day off today, which means I have been flaked out. After feeling confused about if I lost my charm in outlooking, I went out with my mom. I still remember the last time when I went to a shopping mall for shopping was about a year ago. Finally I am running out of my clothes, which means one of my last two shirts is worn out.
Homo Deus is the first book I read during this summer. One of my friends introduced the book with a subtitle called "Brief History of Tomorrow", and I think both of us are interested in it.
The book tends to impart people some rules or opinions which may contain a heap of seemingly boring explanation; nevertheless, the author does an excellent job in depicting his opinions in vivid ways. One of the aspect I really appreciate is the little stories he uses. Those stories not only successfully make the entire book engaging, but also make it easier for readers to comprehend the opinions.
The ideas displayed in the book are priceless, such as the concept that “human are all algorithms“, and “discrepancy between narrating self and experimenting self.” The most significant lesson I have learned from the numerous opinions is the importance of free will. Since organisms’ soul is indeed electrical signals and algorithms, which will probably be programmable in the future, the independency of individual’s will become precious. It is significant to think independently because people will not know when the AI is going to make decision for them. Although writing this journal is a consequence of a bunch of electrical signals and algorithms in my brain, nobody else makes this decision for me, and therefore I enjoy writing it.
The book views future in an innovative angle, but most of its argument is based on past experiment or can be evidenced from past events. As a result, the content in the book becomes convincible. Though my brain is working at full speed when reading it to try to comprehend some content, I feel great and relaxed after comprehending the ideas without knowing why I feel so. Probably it is the magic of this book.
I went to learn fighting skills today. Just as I thought, it was very painful. I failed once when we were learning how to dodge straight punches. The cost was that I cancelled the date with my sister tomorrow.
Anyway I still enjoyed today, with peaceful morning and a somehow joyful noon. I left my key at home this noon. After standing in front of the door and feeding the mosquitoes for a while, I rode my two-wheel skateboard for 3 kilometers to find my mom and get the keys.
Today the weather is nice. My homestay asked me if I wanted to go and have a nice walk in Garry point with her dog named Xixi. It is such a sunny day, I can feel the warm sunshine just by looking at it. It sounded like a good choice, so why not? We drove about 10 minutes to the ocean near us. Because of the weather, many families decided to go out fly kites with their children and BBQ, which is my favourite thing to do in the park. We took off the dog’s leash and enjoyed the sunshine. If you had went there, you wouldn’t say “oh I feel like I wore too much clothes, because how much you wear is not enough when you go there. Overall, today is my first day of the long weekend, I wish there could be two more days like this!
Gathering my belongings with my ruined fingers after the 3-hour guitar lesson, I was going to leave for home. All of sudden, Maria came in and announced an emergency and appealed to us to volunteer. The car of one of my peer’s family was experiencing a flat tire. No need for conclusions, hypothesis, analysis or reasons, I thought. This time I will follow my first reaction —— rush out of the door and see what I can do.
I, together with other peers and the family, wanted to lift up the car in order to change the flat tire. Our first step was to lift the car up, which we managed to do; however, we failed to unscrew the nails on the flat tire after a few attempts. If I decided to help without thinking, this time I will turn my logic on. The reason that we failed to unscrew the nails was that we lack proper knowledge, therefore I pulled out my phone immediately and started googling. Although I did not find the solution, I noticed that all the cars in the video tutorials which I was watching had tires with same nails, while the car we tried to fix had a tire with one nail shaped distinctly from the others. Then I realized that there must be some kind of tools that we didn’t find but can address this issue, otherwise we would be the first customers who reported this design failure of not having proper tools for Honda.
After a few more futile attempts, we most of the volunteers were asked to go home. I insisted on staying, but eventually I left reluctantly. I walked a hundred meters away. The sun cast its powerless light toward my back and created a long shadow. I stared at it, and I was contemplating with all my blood running toward my brain. I questioned myself; is it the right thing to just go away? Obviously there was nothing wrong if I left because I might not do much help at that point; however, I will feel bad if I left. I volunteered myself to do help, so I must help till I have no way to do so. This is my rule and theory, and this is the way I tackle problems. I thought this is a thing which is associated with my attitude and principle. I will feel like a puppet if I just walk away. It was the same as doing a Math test, I won’t give up even though the last question might be way harder than I can afford to solve. The long and slim shadow evoked my memory. I used to be a boy who could not keep my own principles. I had made enough decisions which made me regret. I was determined to establish a set of rules which I can carry out and persevere after I came to Canada two years ago. After thinking about this, I turned around and went back to the group. Now the sunshine fell on my face and I could no longer see my shadows. Nevertheless, the decision was not the end of the consideration because making ruthless decisions sometimes could be fatal. Therefore, I reassured that I could go back home before it was too late and I was able to have a dinner somewhere before I joined the remainders.
Had I not made that decision, I would not have been able to see the amazing things happen —— we found the tools we need to unlock the wheel lock. Nevertheless, things never turned out to be as easy as we have expected. There was one moment the front wheel no longer had the power to stabilize the entire car. The lifter shifted and the remaining wheels rolled backwards. It would be a catastrophe if someone had put his or her hand underneath the car. Fortunately, nobody got injured. Though it was a small accident, it could reflect the importance of safety. We should be aware of potential hazards and remember that safety is always the priority.
After half an hour’s work, the alternative tire was eventually installed on the car. Hunger, thirst and exhaust filled up my body; however, my mind was overwhelmed by excitement and joy. This was what made an ordinary day special, as well as what made a typical life meaningful.
Helping others is a nice thing to do during the vacation, not only can you solve a question by yourself, it was also nice memory! Today after school, my friend Elina’s mom experience a flat tire. When Maira came in and called us out to help change the tire, I was one of the first students who ran out to help. At that time Maria only said the boys should go when she saw me going out! “Who cares if I’m a girl or a boy, as long as I can help,” I murmured. When I went out, Elina’s mom was standing alone outside. She opened her car’s trunk, trying to find her jack and other tools to help out. Qintu was already holding the jack, trying to put the jack underneath the car to lift the car!
It would not be easy to change the car tire if you did not have enough experience before. I had watched my parents helped other people change the tire, so I tried to pull out my memory about how to change a tire. Qintu was trying so hard to unscrew the tire by using a special tool. A couple of minutes passed, he still couldn’t unscrew it. I decided to use my feet to help him. When I kicked the tools, the tire’s screws became loose, so I repeated. A couple of times later, we finished unscrewing the tire. At the same time, Elina’s mom tried her best to use to the jack to lift up the car. After we unscrewed all the screws, we took down the tire and put on the new one, which was found in the trunk! It was a nice job to do. It was unbelievable that we only spent 30 minutes to change a tire. I hope I can use the tips I have learned from this experience to help others out!
I was forced to go to the BMO marathon for the second time. BMO marathon happens every year on the first Sunday in May, and thousands of people participated on that day. I did as well.
It was about 8 a.m. when I arrived at downtown with the teachers and peers I know at IWE. We played games such as Chinese rope weaving when we were waiting at the starting line. I recalled I picked up a key when I ran last year, and I still keep it until today, which I don't really know why I do that. Then it was the time to start the marathon, and my shoelace got loose 5 times during the first minute because I was running. So I stopped running after 10 minutes (my shoelaces kept falling off and I really hated it).
I walked for almost the rest of the route. It's a little more than an hour and I was getting tired, and my feet were painful. I was thinking about a lot of things when I passed through all the people and the trees. I thought about all the things I did with my friends recently, what I should do after the run. As I went through all kinds of people during the marathon, I was thinking why they came here. Walking around the Stanley Park makes me recall a lot of things I forgot a long time ago.
At the end, I ran about an hour and fifteen mins which is better than I expected, but my feet felt like someone hit a nail into it. I guess the next few days will be torturous for me.